The Way we Live – Current Global Trends of Laminates

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Compact living spaces, maximum utility, cleanliness and hygiene, functional design. This sums up the task faced by every interior designer and architect around the world today.

Japan and China have a great tradition of minimalistic design. In Japan living spaces and residences are getting smaller and smaller and the same can be said for countries like Hong Kong. Sweden is a country that lives in harmony with nature and the people are frugal, not wasteful and this is reflected in their furniture and interiors. Norway, United Kingdom, USA have similarly adapted to minimalistic design and living style, specially as people move quite often.

This background coupled with the rising awareness of the destruction caused in the procurement of natural raw materials has influenced millions of homeowners to rethink their choices. Especially when there are alternatives that are equally good and in some cases even better. 

Laminates today continue to seek inspiration from our natural environment – wood, stone, metal. But they’ve taken the organic product and improved upon it, making it safer, stronger, hygienic and longer lasting. 

Global trends today are focused at one single requirement – hygiene and sanitation. In a post Covid world every product aspires to create a germ free, secure area. Laminates, already on the road to delivering germ free, anti fingerprint and stain proof surfaces, also claim to have an anti Covid surface. 

Yet design and utility come a close second. Laminates have replaced hard wood and concrete floors. They’re quick to install, without the hard work of breaking, cutting, chipping, grinding, polishing, setting. They can be applied over any existing surface in a matter of hours. 

Laminate cladding is termite free, resistant to even dust, germs and fingerprints. Easy maintenance yet more hardy. It’s like they took a simple product and used technology to give it an armour that makes it invincible. 

Simple furniture is the order of the day and is another global trend that is here to stay. The dust in our environment that settles on furniture, especially old heavy wood furniture that’s intricately carved can be cumbersome no matter how old or precious the item. Add to that the bright, cheerful colours  of laminates or high definition designs and patterns. It’s no wonder people are exploring their options. No longer limited to the old and traditional.  Furthermore gone are the days when furniture was inherited or passed down generations. Now we all have an idea of what we like, the functions our interiors and living spaces need to perform or the style we want to implement. All over the world, people are investing more in improving their living standards and this has also impacted the popularity of laminates.

Our concern for the environment has also pushed a preference for laminate floors, tiles or furniture. It no longer seems acceptable to contribute towards deforestation in order to create heavy wood cabinets or floors or cause landslides mining for stone and slate. 

Economically too laminate alternatives are budget friendly. For younger people venturing out into their first apartment or newly married couples, laminates have proved to be cost effective and maintenance free. Similarly for young families, laminate provides comfortable living spaces that absorb the grind of day to day chaos in homes with young children and their pets. I can personally vouch for this. My carpenter suggested I cover the inside door of my bathroom with a white laminate and I bless his decision every time I spray and wipe it down to clean water marks, dirty hand prints that open the door enroute to the sink or mud stains.

Our spaces have almost become an extension of who we are, while some prefer muted beiges or blacks and whites, others indulge in bright colours or loud shiny interiors. For some the kitchen is the hearth of the home, a comfortable casual space while for others it’s clean, white and airy. Yet everyone finds expressions through laminates. It’s no wonder that their future seems bright. They’re here to stay.

For more information, visit Stylam.

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